Already delayed landscaping work at the new Robert Crown Center may be put off until next year after some City Council members read anonymous online reviews in which people claiming to be employees criticized the chosen contractor.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said at Monday’s City Council meeting that the city shouldn’t award the $32,000 of added work to Cristy Webber Landscapes, a woman-owned business already doing work at the Crown site, because of what he said was negative information about the contractor online.

Reid declined to specify the source of the critical comments, but an online search turned up some negative anonymous online reviews of the company on the jobs site

Reid urged that the work be awarded to another landscape firm, but Public Works Director Dave Stoneback said to do so would require rebidding the contract. That, Stoneback said, would mean the project, already delayed because a previous contractor’s work was deficient, wouldn’t be completed until next spring.

Stoneback added that it would also take 20 to 30 hours of staff time to prepare the bid documents.

Ald. Melissa Wynne, 3rd Ward, said delaying the project was unnecessary and that the work to get lawn and no-mow grasses established needed to be done this fall.

But Reid moved to hold a vote on the contract award until the Council’s next regular meeting in two weeks. Ald. Bobby Burns (5th) seconded that motion and a move by Wynne to override the hold failed on a 4-5 vote.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.